Lent Day Three- tough day :/

Day three of Lent and starting to really struggle with feeling full ALL THE TIME.  Found it really hard to motivate to getting out of bed this morning :/ felt totally drained and disgusting, like someone had sapped all my energy and replaced it with heaviness and sludge.  Not nice!!  I literally had to force my body into moving through the motions this morning- coffee first, shower, putting on one item of clothing at a time and really had to concentrate to make sure I actually remembered everything.

Was running late so didn’t really have time to think about porridge which was probably a good thing- made instant porridge and ate it quickly because I hate being late for work.  Didn’t even have time to think about eating when I wasn’t hungry and it was only halfway to work it suddenly hit me!  But by then I was stressed about being late, feeling anxious and trying to manage lots of ‘rule-type’ thoughts which always seem worse when I’m late (radio volume on an even number, swallowing even number of times, making sure I could see exactly half my left eye in the rear view mirror, not looking at the clock at 8.13 and when I did accidentally, having to look at the clock even more times on 8.14 etc) and didn’t have enough brain space to worry about the porridge too.

When I got to school, I had a pretty full-on morning with some of my favourite but challenging classes and I was so exhausted by breaktime that I actually really needed the banana energy boost.  Was really busy again right up to lunchtime, and didn’t have time to worry about how I was going to manage the baked beans and bread.  I was so, so nervous about it- partly the logistics of making and eating it (is it OK to eat food with a knife and fork at lunchtime? and is it OK to do that in the staffroom?) and partly in case someone commented on it and that would make me feel even more anxious and self-conscious, but luckily it’s Friday today and not many people around (lots of staff are part-time) so there were only two other people in the staffroom anyway.  I decided not to risk toasting the break because getting the toaster out and plugged in would draw attention to it and I was nervous enough anyway, so I had bread with cold baked beans.

I felt really sick when I started to eat it and felt full almost immediately, and I really wanted to just eat the beans and leave the bread but I know that would be cheating and would defeat the point of following the meal plan, so I forced myself to eat a few beans at a time then cut the bread into small pieces and ate them too.  Felt like I was going to explode by the time I’d finished and my stomach was bloated and uncomfortable, which was really horrible.  I had a horrible, intense urge to throw up and was very close to going to the toilet but the bell rang and the child I work with in the afternoon was waiting at the staffroom door so I couldn’t.  I felt really trapped and jittery but Friday afternoons are one-to-one work with a child I mentor so couldn’t do anything about it which was really, really horrible.

Then the bitch in my head started up, saying I shouldn’t have eaten it and didn’t need it, beans are OK on their own and bread is another meal in itself so I’d basically had two meals in one which was really, really greedy especially after the banana at break, feeling full is my body’s way of telling me I’ve eaten too much and I was really selfish for ignoring that and eating anyway, I’m a disgusting bitch and that’s why people don’t like me…  I couldn’t challenge her with a child in front of me and ignoring her isn’t really an option because she just gets louder, so I dug the staffroom key hard into my hand (inside my fist so the child couldn’t see) and bit my tongue, and the pain helped to distract enough that she started to quieten down a bit.

It’s a pretty intense afternoon doing one-to-one work which really helped to distract from how I was feeling.  The lesson went OK but way too quickly (I love working intensively with kids because takes so much energy and when I’m jittery-hyped, it’s a great way to channel it positively and the kids really seem to respond well to that), and I stayed late after school to write up notes to try to calm down a bit before going home.  I still felt really bloated when I got home and it’s the first time I’ve seriously considered missing food from the meal plan.  I felt SO FULL and horrible, and I’d got pretty bad heartburn as well which really didn’t help.  I couldn’t face a yogurt so ate some dates instead (needed an energy boost) and played Minecraft for a while to try to distract from feeling sick.

I hate evenings- my mood and energy levels seem to crash and it’s hard to focus on anything properly.  Friday evenings are the worst because I don’t even have school the next day and my anxiety’s really high without structure, and because I don’t ‘have’ to do anything which is really difficult to deal with.  Had to force myself to eat tea again and felt even worse afterwards, and I just wanted to binge then purge it all out, stop feeling so disgusting and bloated and escape form my body for a while.  But I’ve decided to follow the contract for the next 37 days and that means NO BINGEING, and I can’t break the main rule.  My brain’s been spinning all evening :/ trying to manage intense binge urges while the bitch in my head is screaming at me for messing everything up, being a disgusting lazy bitch, making myself even more fat so people will think I’m even more selfish than they already do etc is bloody hard and I am EXHAUSTED.

Still feel like my stomach’s forcing my clothes to stretch and I’m so scared none of my clothes will fit by Monday.  What if I genuinely have nothing to wear?  What if I get so fat people don’t recognise me?  What if the kids say something?  Feeling disgusting and so horrible, and it’s really hard trying to rationalise it and stick to the plan.  Only three days in and it’s BLOODY HARD.  But I managed two years as an inpatient on a much more difficult diet than this one (WAY more food and variety) and didn’t die, so I know rationally that it IS possible.  Just need to keep trying…

A glose to not-exist

“Learn the point of vanishing, the moment 
embers turn to ash, the sun falls down, 
the sudden white-out comes.” 
– ‘How to Disappear’, Amanda Dalton 
 
It’s harder than you’d think, to not 
exist. The greater sum of parts 
that’s caught in the fierce gravity 
of life’s orbit, insistent hearts. 
Learn the point of vanishing, the moment 
 
you override the ceaselessness 
of being. Freedom of nothing; 
nothing to be free from. Self-less, 
the irony of choice. Burning 
embers turn to ash, the sun falls down; 
 
you are aware of none of this. 
You’ve not-existed for longer 
than you can remember. In the 
nothingness of cold and hunger, 
the sudden white-out comes. 

Words from the bitch in my head, Part One…

You don’t know you know me but you do. I’m in the gaps between thoughts, dormant in the electric storm of neurons and synapses. You might never meet me and even if you do, you won’t recognise me in the mirror of yourself. I can be your friend. I can change your life, simplify the jagged edges and chaos of your thoughts. I can be your enemy if you ignore me. I’m the Lilith in your consciousness, primal and latent. I’m a force of life itself, and of death. My bones are ice, sharp and strong and my veins run with silver blood. I have no colours, no weaknesses. My thoughts run cold and frozen. My eyes are diamond bright and hard. My power is in your mind. I’m the child snatcher, the exorcist of emotions, the keeper of frozen hearts. I work in symmetry and straight lines. I am perfection. I’m the danger of your desires. Once I gain your trust, you will never escape.

Have you ever felt so cold you could be made of ice? Not the shivery sort of cold you feel on a winter’s day, the sort that can be appeased relatively easily with a hot drink or an extra layer of clothes. This is real cold, bone-deep, the kind that penetrates your being with an icy sharpness and cuts into your numbed heart. The kind where you can’t feel most of your body and you stumble from day to day with frozen thoughts and dulled emotions. And that’s if you can recognise them at all. If you stay frozen for too long, eventually your mind will become ice and you won’t know your own thoughts and your feelings will fade to icy detachment. You’re too cold to care. Care needs warmth, feeling, connection. Out there in the snow, you’re on your own.

Think of a snowflake. Imagine its precision, its symmetry. Doesn’t that make you feel safe? I can offer you that perfection. Wouldn’t you like to leave the dark chaos of the world for pure, white light? I can offer you control. You have a choice to take charge of your own destiny, regulate your earthly desires and needs. Follow me. I am immaterial, constant in your thoughts. Trust me. I can lead you into the light. I am a part of you, the part that you don’t know exists yet but you want, desperately. I’m the perfect you, the you that does not desire or need anyone or anything, the you that is powerful beyond your thoughts. I am the conflict in your mind, the fight between weak and strong. Think of ice, sharp and clear as glass. The paradox of strength and fragility. Ice is cold; cold is numb; numb is safe. Come with me into the ice world of balanced beauty. Come into the reflected light of virgin snow, pure and simple. Follow me out of the chaos around you. Take control.

                  It was said that I was kidnapped, a child stolen by an evil monster masquerading as a queen. I’m not so sure. I’d already lost any warmth I had by the time She came along and I felt as though I already knew Her, almost as though I’d been waiting most of my life for that moment without even realising it. Maybe I’d met Her before, in a nightmare or perhaps in a dream. Dreams are unconscious reality, after all. Not that I really believe in the unconscious, or hidden desires. She showed me the truth: that everything can be acknowledged and mastered. She showed me perfection. And I wanted to follow Her into the ice, wanted to see for myself the mechanisms of precision, how everything fitted together exactly and the world spun in balance. The frozen North is a mystical place for anyone who’s never experienced it, and it fascinated me. The tip of the earth’s magnetic field. A land which fuses endless days and endless nights in a seasonal cycle. The place where charged particles from the outside the Earth’s atmosphere collide with atoms in a magical magnetic light show that glows green in the darkness. In winter, the stars in the North show the best astronomy display on Earth. I wanted to learn, to see, to experience it for myself. To lose myself in its magnitude, although I hadn’t realised that yet.

You’ll hear me described in many different ways, most of them negative. Don’t believe everything you hear. That’s what happens when you’re an enigma and choose not to reveal yourself to just anyone. But I like it that way. It’s safer to be known through gossip and myth, public identity constructed through stories. That way, you can stay hidden. The best-kept secrets are the ones that are veiled behind pseudo-fact. Sometimes people even doubt your existence through the fiction and that is the best disguise of all. And I am a master of disguise. I can change you beyond recognition, shapeshifting as subtle as the movement of the hour hand of a clock. The clock is your friend. It regulates, gives a safe structure. Be patient. Time will pass anyway. I am not evil. I am here to help. The people who warn about danger have never met me, their views formed from hearsay and fear. If you succumb to the safety of my rules, I can protect you. If you choose to disobey, I can make your life a living ice world of hell. My words are law. I am stronger than you. I’m in your thoughts.

                  It’s an odd feeling, the desire to not exist. To lose yourself in the perfect glacial world of symmetry and snowflakes. You don’t want to lose your self completely; it’s more an unconscious need to be something that leads to the conscious negation of anything that seems to trap you in a false sense of self. Losing yourself in order to find yourself, or something like that. Or maybe it’s the opposite: in denying your physical identity, you’re reinforcing the core, the inner self that can’t be lost however hard you try. Although the longer you stay in the cold, the less of an effort it becomes. There’s a strange seduction to sharp edges and straight lines, jagged icicles and smooth glaciers. And the cold, numbing your heart to a calm detachment. The heart’s a strange organ, vital and uncontrollable. You can stop your breathing but you can’t stop your own heart, however hard you try. Your body has an unconscious urge to survive, adapting to even the most extreme circumstances.